England short of scorers

The England coach, Laszlo Nemeth, will depend on overseas-based players for his firepower and rebounding strength when his team face Latvia at Leicester on 30 October, in the first of three European Championship semi- final round group games before Christmas, writes Richard Taylor.

The statistics from the first four weeks of the season vividly illustrate the effect of the exodus of several leading internationals to the Continent and the influx of Americans in the Budweiser League.

The League's decision to allow up to five Americans per club, instead of two, has reduced the role of most English men to bit-part players in the League.

Roger Huggins, of Sheffield Sharks, and Crystal Palace's Richard Scantlebury, both in Nemeth's 17-man squad, are the only Englishmen in the top 20 scorers. Huggins is the only Englishman in the top 20 rebounders, at 15th.

Nemeth will look to the six Continental-based players for points and rebounds, especially Steve Bucknall and John Amaechi, playing in Greece, and Spencer Dunkley and Ian Whyte, from French clubs. Bucknall is scoring freely but his club, Iraklis, have been playing poorly and have sacked their coach.

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